My uncle, Pio, and I decided to work out in this relatively new gym in San Lorenzo Village one night. We went about our usual exercises but when I was spotting him when he was doing his bench presses, and with me in a semi-squat, I felt a distinct click on my lower back. Thinking it was merely a joint snapping back into place, I tried to go on with my other exercises. But as I went on with my workout, something was slowly feeling off and my control when lifting was strangely getting difficult. We soon set off for home and I went to bed.
The next day I woke up with a terrific pain radiating down my leg! Half of my foot was numb, walking was difficult, and even sitting down was excruciating! My parents quickly brought me yo Makati Medical Center and I got a checkup from a specialist there. He diagnosed me with a slipped or ruptured disc on the L4-L5 region. And this during the early weeks of the semester. Great.
I was prescribed an anti-inflammatory and I had to undergo physical therapy which included traction and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). This had to go on for a month before I was to visit my doctor again. In the meantime, I would walk around with a limp, I couldn’t sit down without feeling great pain, and I couldn’t even draw the images we see in the microscope during Oral Pathology. Good thing my teacher then was very considerate and still allowed me to participate in spite of being unable to draw.
Sadly, I had no choice but to drop a couple of subjects because I couldn’t function properly during those classes. At least I was able to make it to the drop cutoff. I guess I would have been able to graduate a lot earlier if it wasn’t for this injury.
The thing about going to the physical therapist was that I could only walk to his office for treatment because of parking issues and the difficulty in driving. So I would limp for 15 minutes to therapy, stayed there for an hour, then limped back to my mom’s dental office. What I would give for an Uber during those days!
My condition did improve, and the medicine was working well enough for me to still go to school. The pain was getting manageable and sometimes nonexistent. Finally, after a month of therapy, I contacted my doctor so he could evaluate me again. I could still feel the pain at the back of my right leg and numbness on my last three toes. But I missed working out so much! So, with my game plan to get back on the road to fitness, I spoke to my doctor.
To be continued in Part 3. Please watch this video on what happens during a heart attack. Maybe you can save a life someday.
Read Part 1 here.